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Intra-community cross-border e-commerce: a consumer confidence enhancing package

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thesis
posted on 2012-04-02, 12:02 authored by Deniz Tekin Apaydin
The aim of this thesis is to explore the barriers posed by the special characteristics of e-commerce that undermine consumer confidence in intra-Community crossborder e-commerce and to introduce possible substantive legal solutions to eliminate those barriers. This thesis is based upon the argument that the answer to increasing consumer confidence vis-à-vis intra-Community cross-border ecommerce lies in empowering individual consumers with effective remedies for goods with quality defects. Empirical evidence confirms that accessing rights and remedies is the principle disincentive to consumer confidence. This thesis suggests that there are two possible ways to remedy the situation; reducing the disincentive and increasing the incentive. Pinpointing key areas with reference to empirical evidence, a ‘consumer confidence enhancing package’ is introduced that contains substantive legal solutions that may have a comprehensive impact. Implementing this package, ‘accessibility of the counterparty’ and ‘localisation of disputes’ are identified as critical for improvement. Focusing on these formulas, ‘manufacturer liability’ and ‘credit card company liability’ are introduced as legal mechanisms that have the potential to reduce the disincentive of the consumers by means of facilitating accessibility of rights and remedies. The other part of the package involves the introduction of ‘punitive damages’ as a potent individual private enforcement tool for increasing the ‘incentive’ for consumers to go to courts for pursuing remedies, while fostering compliance by the businesses. It is of particular significance for the EU, to create confident consumers who engage in Intra-Community cross-border e-commerce as cross-border e-commerce is a vital motor of integration. Therefore this thesis is an attempt to develop legal mechanisms that may address the existing problems of consumer confidence in the EU, particularly in such a critical time that calls for stronger measures. The more confident consumers are, the more Internal Market is likely to flourish.

History

Supervisor(s)

Dickie, John; Snaith, Ian; Szyszczak, Erika

Date of award

2012-01-01

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD

Language

en

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